New TPB blitz circles 2,700 SMSF trustees
Tax agents who are also SMSF trustees have been put on notice by the Tax Practitioners Board, as part of a major compliance campaign officially launched this morning.
The TPB’s new debt and lodgement project will focus on tax agents with personal tax debts and no payment plans, and outstanding lodgements including of their income tax and SMSF annual returns.
About 2,700 practitioners who are trustees of their SMSFs currently have outstanding SMSF annual returns. Persistent lodgement failure could compromise trustee duties, which trustees agree to abide by on their initial fund declaration form.
“A person’s fitness and propriety to act as a tax agent… can have a knock-on impact on their fitness to act as a trustee,” said secretary and chief executive of the TPB, Michael O’Neill, who was appointed in August.
The program will be fully rolled out in February next year, and tax agents have until then to remedy their affairs. There is no amnesty period; rather, tax agents will be looked upon more favourably if they communicate and cooperate with the regulators.
On the radar
Tax agents with outstanding lodgement for the SMSFs have already been circled by the ATO in the last fortnight for compliance activity in 2019.
More broadly, late SMSF annual return lodgement has also been an ongoing area of focus for the ATO for several years, which has lowered the overall rate of non-lodgement.
In October last year, the tax office found that non-lodgement rates for the SMSF sector reached critical levels, with about 40,000 funds at risk of being made non-compliant.